Mould Remediation Do's And Don’ts
|When you are faced with a mould problem, getting rid of it takes a multi-pronged and well coordinated approach. Usually, you will have to take a number of actions and the correct order of these actions can be the difference between effective mould remediation and a recurring mould problem. First, you must determine whether you will require a mould remediation expert or if you will have no problem getting rid of the mould yourself. Usually, this decision should be driven by your judgment of the intensity of infestation and the size of the area to be remediated.|
If the mould is limited to just a small section of one of the bathroom walls, then carrying out the clean up on your own might be the prudent thing to do. But if the mould problem is spread across large wall sections and is present in a number of rooms, then it might be better for you to call in a mould remediation professional.
If you choose to do the remediation yourself, your assessment of the mould infestation should be followed by an analysis of the types of surfaces that have been infested with and damaged by the mould.
Next, communicate with the person(s) that regularly use the affected room on your intention to perform mould remediation. If it is a bathroom in your house, that would be members of your family. If it is a shared place in a public area or an office, it might be difficult to communicate individually with everyone who uses the affected space. In this case, you should put up a notice at the entry to the affected space that clearly states mould remediation in progress. If possible, such a notice should indicate that mould can be dangerous to human health.
Do not perform mould remediation without the proper protective equipment. Touching mould with your bare hands or inhaling mould spores is dangerous. In fact, access to protective equipment should be one of the factors that determine whether you outsource remediation or do it yourself. If you cannot access the correct protective equipment, any benefits of doing the mould remediation yourself is not worth the risks.
Mould thrives in moist and damp environments. Thus, your next step in mould remediation should be to identify and get rid of any sources of water intrusion and/or stagnation in the affected area. The water might be coming from a leaking pipe or it could simply be the result of poor drainage. If you do not address the moisture problem, then it will be difficult to permanently get rid of the mould.
Piping problems can get complicated so unless it is a fairly straightforward and easy-to-fix problem, you should call a plumber to sort it out. The same varying levels of complexity are present in drainage problems. For instance, cleaning the mouth of the bathroom drain and using a rubber sucker could unclog a simple drain blockage. But some drainage problems are structural e.g. the gradient of the bathroom causes water to collect on the corners as opposed to directing all the water to the drain hole. In such cases, the solution would lie in correcting the gradient of the bathroom floor, something that might require extensive works. You would have to rope in construction professionals to do this.
With the water and drainage problem out of the way, you can move on to the next phase which is cleaning and drying the mould infested surfaces and items. The four main options you have when it comes to cleaning mould are: wet vacuum cleaning, damp-wiping, HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air) vacuum cleaning or complete discard. The cleaning technique you employ will not only depend on the type of surface affected but will also depend on the total affected surface area.
For mould remediation on small surface areas, wet and HEPA vacuum cleaning is ideal for cleaning carpets, drapes and upholstered furniture. HEPA vacuum cleaning is also ideal for cleaning books, concrete as well as gypsum and dry wall boards. Other than wet and HEPA vacuum cleaning, mould remediation of less porous surfaces such as plastic, metal, linoleum, vinyl, ceramic tiles and wood, would also include damp wiping.
Because of the difficulty of cleaning, discarding is a mould remediation and cleaning option where a large wood, carpet, upholstered furniture, drapes or ceramic surface is involved.